Saturday, July 24, 2010

Aboriginal Bishop ordained at Moosonee Diocese


From Canada-

Tom Corston, of Chapleau Cree First Nation, was ordained as the new Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Moosonee July 5.

There were seven candidates in the election for a new bishop.

Anglican church leaders from across the province attended the event which was held at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Timmins to accommodate the large number of guests.

Archbishop Colin Johnson of the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario held the service.

Corston is the ninth Anglican Bishop of Moosonee. He will oversee 26 Anglican parishes, including Timmins.

His territory extends from Geraldton in the west to Misitissini, Que., in the east, from Kashechewan and Chisasibi in the north to Chapleau and Gogama in the south. Within his diocese, there are 8,500 parishioners.

Prior to being named bishop, Corston was an archdeacon with the Diocese of Algoma and Sudbury.

He received numerous calls to put his name forward for consideration.

As a young boy sitting in his home church in Chapleau, Corston was already aware of a presence beyond himself.

“I can go into that building today and sit in the same pew and remember distinctly that childhood moment,” Corston wrote on his website.

More here-

http://www.wawataynews.ca/archive/all/2010/7/22/Aboriginal-Bishop-ordained-at-Moosonee-Diocese_20333

Rescuing Galileo from Scientism


From The Living Church-

“Eppur si muove (and yet it does move).” So Galileo most certainly did not say at the end of his infamous trial in 1633. He was, of course, eventually proven right, more or less. But by then he had been in his expensive and ornate grave the better part of a century, having spent the last 11 of his 78 years under house arrest in his palatial estate, following his second trial. The first had been in 1616 and its outcome was then, and has been since, much disputed.

What is not in dispute is that this trial of Galileo is one of the most carefully studied events in the history of science and the Church, one about which endless books and plays have been written, debating points scored, and cultural battles fought. It is to the political (and too often propagandistic) uses to which the affair has been put that Galileo Observed is addressed. The authors begin with William Draper and Andrew White’s Victorian Era mythologizing about the trial as a major battlefield in their supposed “war of science and religion,” demonstrating that neither trial had much to do with any obscurantist opposition of the Roman Catholic Church to the scientific enterprise or excessive devotion to literalist hermeneutics. Though, to be sure, there were elements of these things in play, as the Church of the time was cautious with regard to developments in cosmology that were sweeping the scientific world.

Nor was it simply a matter of a feckless and arrogant Galileo bringing condemnation on himself, as the authors note when they evaluate Arthur Koestler’s 1959 novel The Sleepwalkers. Though again, it cannot be ignored that Galileo was possessed of an often prickly and difficult persona, refusing to accept Tycho Brahe’s observations of comets and at times belittling Kepler, whose most important scientific achievements Galileo mostly rejected (like most natural philosophers from ancient times, Galileo considered long-distance interactions an impossibility and so discounted Kepler’s claims of lunar gravitational pull as the cause of the tides, preferring his own claim that they resulted from the motion of Earth; he also rejected Kepler’s theory of elliptical planetary motion, preferring the more traditional — and incorrect — assumption of circular orbits).

More here-

http://www.livingchurch.org/news/news-updates/2010/7/23/review-essay-rescuing-galileo-from-scientism

“Episcopal Revival”


From Georgia-

I grew up in a wonderful Baptist church and each summer we would have a revival. It meant a tent was set, a visiting evangelist came to preach, and folks were energized and more committed to their faith. Past members returned to church and folks who were not churched came and were inspired. It was an image-making event for a 1950s youngster. Today a similar revival is going on at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Madison’s Historic District.

The priest is Father Dann Brown, who is Episcopal Chaplain at UGA, and comes to Madison on Sundays.
One factor which makes him skilled in this process is that his dad was a Baptist pastor. It’s in his DNA to know just what a parish in transition needs. His father twice told him that Dann’s faith was more mystical than his own. What he was attempting to convey is that his preaching style, his prayer life, and his listening skills were different from what he saw in his father. Dann attended Furman University, followed that with a stint at a Baptist seminary in California before concluding that there was merit in his dad’s advice. He had a great track career at Furman and coaching and teaching became his vocational path. In his late 30s he converted to the Episcopal faith and soon found himself attending seminary at Sewanee.

Every faith has unique traditions and language. In the Episcopal faith, Dann’s relationship to Church of the Advent is supply priest. He is not the interim pastor; he simply performs the Sunday worship service and he lends the lay leadership his wisdom and experience. Church of the Advent has a Vestry (similar to a Board of Deacons) who run the ongoing affairs of the church. Church of the Advent has had a significant membership and giving drop-off.
It is not altogether clear that they can afford a full-time priest. That is quite a change from the very vibrant parish it has traditionally been, and the important role its members have played in Morgan County’s history.

More here-

http://www.morgancountycitizen.com/?q=node/14659

Former Episcopal Priest Accused of Sex Assault


From CT

A man who claims he was sexually abused by an Episcopal Priest is suing the South Windsor Church where he says the abuse happened nearly 40 years ago.

Robert Gough was a middle school student, when he says Rev. Bruce Jaques lured him into his office and sexually assaulted him. The alleged abuse happened in the late 1970s, according to Gough's attorneys.

The lawsuit claims Jaques told Gough he was conducting research about children and how they change physically. Gough says Jaques touched him, and performed oral sex on him. He claims Jaques tried to lure him into his officer on two other occasions, but Gough turned Jaques away.
A spokesperson for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut said Jaques was removed from the priesthood in the mid 1990s when separate allegations were brought against him. "Abuse of any type by anyone in a position of power or authority is abhorrent, and not to be tolerated," Director of Communication and Media for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut Karin Hamilton said.

The Bishop's office was made aware of Gough's allegations in the spring of 2009, and the bishop notified the Department of Children and Families, according to Hamilton.

More here-

http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local-beat/Former-Episcopal-Priest-Accused-of-Sex-Assault-99140574.html

Why It's Cool to Go to Church Again


From Huffington- (Juice?)

As a little kid I always thought that church was cool. I liked the choir at my hometown Episcopal church, and going up to get wafers and juice. But the Scripture reading, prayers and sermons always seemed really boring. As I got older, I began to not feel God in church. Then I was forced to go to confirmation classes once a week as a teenager, for an entire year. The weird priest made those classes excruciatingly boring and tedious -- so bad that the day after my confirmation, I announced I was an atheist, and I never went to church again. I unconfirmed myself immediately, and lost my Christianity in a big way. I just thought being a Christian was irrelevant.

Before my return to graduate school (to Union Theological Seminary in New York) a decade ago, I went 30-something years attending various eastern meditation groups. I'd do my yoga, chant mantras and ruminate on the nothingness of existence. The deeper I got, the closer to myself I became, the emptier I felt. Yet I loved God, although the God-concept didn't fit with my yogic practices. The Jesus Christ concept really didn't fit, and I spent decades thinking the "Jesus freaks" were real losers, or even brain-washed. I couldn't stand the proselytizing and guilt-tripping that Christianity seemed to offer. I told people, "I don't need a mediator between me and God."

Top Ten List is here-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norris-j-chumley-phd/why-its-cool-to-go-to-chu_b_654288.html

Pasadena's All Saints Episcopal Church and preservationists battle over architecture


From LA Times

In Pasadena's historic civic district, there's a conflict between two images of sacred space.

The dispute involves a church, but it's a battle over architecture, not theology, that's dividing residents of the well-heeled city.

For years the large and venerable All Saints Episcopal Church and its often-spotlighted rector, the Rev. J. Edwin Bacon, have been in a deadlock with preservationists who say the church's expansion plans are intruding on the architectural history of the district.

The original Gothic Revival-style church built in 1923 stands across the street from Pasadena's California- Mediterranean-style City Hall and within the confines of the Pasadena Civic Center District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of civic art in the "City Beautiful" architectural style of the 1920s.

All Saints leaders and congregation members said the parish, with its 3,500 congregants, 125 ministries and 13,000 meetings a year, has become increasingly cramped and needs new spaces to meet, worship and incubate local nonprofit start-ups.

Preservationists clarified their respect for the church and its history in the community. But they said the distinctly contemporary design created by architect Michael Palladino of Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP — who worked on the Getty Center, among other high-profile projects — is out of context in the historic district.

More here-

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-me-beliefs-all-saints-20100724,0,7213573.story

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kenya: Cracks in Church as Clerics Join 'Yes'


From Kenya-

The Church is facing a major rebellion within its ranks after some senior clergy on Thursday declared they would rally Christians to support the proposed constitution.

The clergymen are operating under the banner, Christians for Yes. In their ranks are Bishop Peter Njenga and the Rev John Njenga of the Anglican Church of Kenya and evangelical bishop Patrick Mungai, who accuse the church leadership of intimidating Christians to reject the proposed constitution "by peddling propaganda and lies about the document."

But at a press conference, the Nairobi archbishop of the Catholic Church, John Cardinal Njue and the Anglican head, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, maintained that the Church leadership would not relent in its quest to shoot down the document.

"Let them lay their issues on the table so that we can debate them. Our position is that even if everything else in the document was right and only one thing was wrong, we would pay attention to it," said Cardinal Njue, adding: "If there is a contentious issue, should we close our eyes to it?"

More here-

http://allafrica.com/stories/201007221139.html

Dog receives communion at Anglican parish


From The "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department- Canadian Division

A dog has received communion at an Anglican parish in Toronto. Pets are permitted in the church.

“The minister welcomed me and said come up and take communion, and Trapper [the dog] came up with me and the minister gave him communion as well,” said Donald Keith, the dog’s owner. “Then he bent his head and said a little prayer.”

“I thought it was a nice way to welcome me into the church,” said Mr. Keith, a new member. “99.9% of the people in the church love Trapper, and the kids play with him.”

Following a parishioner’s complaint, the local Anglican bishop decided that Trapper would not receive communion again, though he will continue to be welcome at church.

Peggy Needham, the deputy people’s warden at the parish, told the Toronto Sun that the parish supported Mr. Keith.

More here-

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=6984

and here-

http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/07/22/14797361.html

Oakland County Houses of Worship Get FBI Letter


From Detroit-

A warning letter the FBI is sending to houses of worship in Oakland County is causing concern and confusion. Right now, the feds say they've found no credible threats toward the religious community, but the letter points to vague, suspicious activities around local churches.

Houses of worship throughout Oakland County already have or soon will be receiving a letter warning about suspicious people asking unusual questions. St. Patrick's Episcopal in Madison Heights got the letter.

"The letter came from the FBI stating that there were some suspicious people that are going to different congregations in Oakland County and just to make us aware of it," said Marlene Stirnweis with St. Patrick's Episcopal Church.

An FBI spokesperson says starting last March, local law enforcement reported to the bureau people asked questions at undisclosed churches about building layouts and where people assembled, information that is usually obvious and easy to gather.

The letter says there is no indication of any criminal activity or a terrorist act.

A spokesperson from the FBI says the letter was not intended to suggest there was an actual threat. It was just a way to reach out to the religious community and urge its members to be alert.

Several clergy and church members say the message in the letter is vague, confusing and unsettling.

"Well, a little apprehensive, I guess, to think that people would come in to the church and I don't know do what because it just says suspicious," said Stirnweis.

Houses of worship are usually inviting places and now spreading the word about the FBI's vague warning.

"We will let the congregation know on Sunday verbally and in our newsletter," Stirnweis said.

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/oakland-county-houses-of-worship-get-fbi-letter-20100722-wpms

'Our kids are broken'


From The Washington Post-


Episcopal Center's roots in the District reach back 115 years, when it began as a convalescent home for tubercular children. It evolved into an orphanage and, finally, into a treatment facility for kids with severe emotional disturbances. Episcopal Center is also one of the reasons underlying the District's decision to back away from imposing a new rate structure that would limit tuition payments for D.C. special education students attending private schools at public expense.

The revised rates were originally scheduled to take effect this fall, but the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) agreed to reconsider them after hearing from parents and educators. Any changes in rates will not be effective until next July.


One voice that got their attention was Alan Korz, Episcopal Center's executive director. Forty-five of his 63 students come from public schools in the District that could not meet their needs, and Korz said the new rates posed a threat to the school's long-term ability to treat D.C. children.

He said the proposed $215 a day maximum--about $38,700 for a 180-day school year-- would create a gap of about $45 a day per student. The only way to make it work, Korz said, would be to lay off staff that are needed to help fulfill the children's IEPs (individual education plans, the legal document setting out their program of care and instruction). Nearly all of them, in the K through 6 age range, have already spent time in psychiatric hospitals. They require close and constant support, Korz said, one of the reasons that the center is open 11 months of the year.

"Our kids are broken," he said. "They can't do well in large groups in a public education setting or the offerings that D.C. has to provide."

More here-

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcschools/2010/07/our_kids_are_broken.html

Secrecy must be maintained at Trinity, bishop says


From Upper South Carolina-

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina said Thursday the veil of secrecy surrounding the dispute between the suspended dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and its vestry is necessary as the church works out a “path of restoration” for the Very Rev. Philip C. Linder.

Bishop W. Andrew Waldo, who issued the suspension because Linder allegedly talked to parishioners about a burgeoning conflict, called a series of three meetings this week to provide Trinity members more information. But to attend those meetings, members must sign an oath of confidentiality.

Linder, 50, the central figure in the controversy, is not allowed to attend the meetings or make his case before the membership, Waldo said.

The dispute is rooted in leadership issues, and erupted when the vestry asked the bishop to intervene as it was preparing to dissolve its 11-year relationship with Linder. There are no allegations of criminal misconduct, Waldo said.

“We are not in a situation where we want to get some winners and some losers,” Waldo said in a telephone interview Thursday. “This is a community-wide discernment. It’s not about throwing everything on the table. It’s about a deeper discernment which has to go on in quiet places.”

Read more:

http://www.thestate.com/2010/07/23/1387587/secrecy-must-be-maintained-at.html#ixzz0uVFlr9Nn

Thursday, July 22, 2010

RSS Feed Anti-Apartheid Hero Desmond Tutu to Retire


From Voice of America-

Desmond Tutu, a hero of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, says he will step back from public life later this year. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Anglican archbishop announced Thursday that his retirement will begin October 7 on his 79th birthday.

He said the time has come to "slow down" so he can spend more time with his family instead of at airports and conferences. Tutu said he will continue his work with a council of statesmen known as "The Elders," but that he will resign from a university post and stop giving interviews to the media.

Tutu laughed as he told reporters, "Don't call me, I'll call you," referencing a similar comment made by his fellow anti-apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela, on retiring.

Tutu, an Anglican minister, became known around the world for using his position in the church to condemn South Africa's repressive apartheid laws. In 1984 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work, and two years later he became the first black African ever to serve as Archbishop of Cape Town.

More here-

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Anti-Apartheid-Hero-Desmond-Tutu-to-Retire-99013054.html

From Lost Boy to Bishop


From The Living Church-

The Episcopal Church of Sudan’s Diocese of Aweil has consecrated the Rt. Rev. Abraham Yel Nhial as its first bishop. He was elected on July 16 and consecrated two days later.

The election had been postponed from the spring because of Sudan’s historic national elections. The new diocese covers the entire Southern Sudan state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and is divided into seven archdeaconries. The other candidates in the election were the Rev. Angelo Yuet Aguer and the Rev. Mathew Garang Chimiir.

Born in Wun Lang village, Aweil District, in 1978, he was forced to flee in 1987 when troops sent by the National Islamic Front regime in Khartoum attacked his village, killing everyone except those taken as slaves.

Like most of the other “Lost Boys of Sudan,” Nhial survived only because he was not home during the attack. Nine-year-old Nhial was one of 35,000 boys who fled toward Ethiopia. After a four-year sojourn when Ethiopia’s civil war forced them to flee again, he was one of fewer than 16,000 to survive and grow up in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp.

The new bishop was one of the Lost Boys chosen to come to the United States in January 2001, an event documented by 60 Minutes. Living in Atlanta, Ga., Nhial first earned a G.E.D. and then a bachelor’s degree from Atlanta Christian College before joining other Sudanese priests at Trinity School for Ministry. Nhial completed a master’s degree in May.

More here-

http://www.livingchurch.org/news/news-updates/2010/7/21/from-lost-boy-to-bishop

Food pantry receives $22,000 grant for walk-in freezer


From Buffalo

The Bread of Life Food Pantry is getting more space – freezer space, that is.

A recently-received grant for more than $22,000 from the Episcopal Diocese provided the food pantry with the necessary funding to purchase a walk-in freezer.

The new freezer will replace the 11 “household type, chest freezers,” that the pantry has been using, said Pam McFadden, a food pantry board member.

“Many were old and they didn’t always work as well as a commercial one,” she said.

The household freezers also did not provide enough storage space for meat. In fact, for the past five years, McFadden said the pantry has had to turn away donated meat due to insufficient storage space.

“Plenty of meat was offered to us,” she said. “There was not enough capacity for it.”

Because they have not had the space to store meat, McFadden said the Food Pantry runs out each year around July.

Her husband, Johnnie Pond, chairman of the Bread of Life Food Pantry board, initiated the plan to get a new freezer.

“He said, ‘what we need to do is put a project together to get a new freezer,’” McFadden said of Pond. “I think primarily just because he was convinced it could be done, it went forward.”

More here-

http://www.buffalobulletin.com/articles/2010/07/21/elsewhere_in_the_bulletin/doc4c472d0049afa050021893.txt

Breakaway Groups Prevented Anglican Split, Nigerian Primate Suggests


From Christian Post-

It's been three years since the Anglican Church of Nigeria "crossed borders" into the United States to establish a new home for conservatives who were unhappy with the liberal direction of the U.S. Episcopal Church.

And if the Nigerians didn't step in, the global Anglican family would have lost a lot of people, said the new primate of the Church of Nigeria.

"We came because we love the Anglican church and we do not want the Anglican church to split," Archbishop Nicholas Okoh told The Christian Post in an interview Tuesday. "That would've been the case if we didn't come in."

Though the Nigerian church, which is the largest regional body in the Anglican Communion with more than 18 million members, came to the U.S. with compassion, it was recently disciplined for violating a moratorium on cross-border intervention.

According to Okoh, the Church of Nigeria received the same sanctions as The Episcopal Church this year, which include removal from the Anglican Communion's ecumenical dialogues and from a body that examines issues of doctrine and authority.

More here-

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100721/breakaway-groups-prevented-anglican-split-nigerian-primate-suggests/

ARIZONA: Trinity Cathedral to host July 29 prayer vigil as part of immigration law protest


From ELO-

Local and national activists are planning an ecumenical prayer service at Phoenix's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral as part of a "Day of Non Compliance" on July 29, when Arizona's controversial immigration law is to go into effect.

The Rev. Canon Carmen B. Guerrero, canon for peace and justice ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, a vocal opponent of the SB1070 legislation which aims to detain and deport undocumented persons, confirmed that the cathedral will host a 6 a.m. prayer vigil on July 29.

A coalition of community activists called for boycotts, civil disobedience and nationwide protests against the law at a July 21 press conference on the steps of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in downtown Phoenix.

They intend to demonstrate, even if a federal judge, who is scheduled to hear legal arguments July 22 against the law, grants an injunction preventing SB1070 from going into effect, according to a statement to the media.

"On July 29, we will not comply with unjust laws," said former Arizona state senator Alfredo Gutierrez of Somos America, who called for civil disobedience at the office of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Somos America is an advocacy group for equal rights for immigrant communities in Arizona.

Carlos Garcia of the Puente Movement said, "In Maricopa County, we've been living under SB1070 conditions with the law in effect," according to a statement released to the media.

"The judge's decision will not stop the rampant racial profiling, extreme terror, inhumane detention, and persecution lived under Sheriff Arpaio and others like him who abuse their power under the guise of 'immigration and enforcement.' Our community's response will continue to grow until real justice comes to Arizona."

More here-

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/81803_123594_ENG_HTM.htm

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

San Diego to Allow Same-sex Blessings


From The Living Church

The Diocese of San Diego has joined several other dioceses — including Massachusetts, Southeast Florida and Southern Ohio — that have decided since General Convention 2009 to allow some form of public blessings for same-sex couples.

The decision by the Rt. Rev. James Robert Mathes, Bishop of San Diego, reflects the recommendations of the diocese’s Holiness in Relationships Task Force Report [PDF].

“My approach on this matter, and several other things, is to be in conversation with the community,” Bishop Mathes told The Living Church.

The bishop has discussed his thinking with several clergy gatherings. The bishop said he sees the decision above all as making provision for pastoral care by priests.

Parishes aren’t authorized to bless anything,” he said. “Priests are.”

The Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas, subdean and canon for spiritual formation at St. Paul’s Cathedral, San Diego, referred to the new policy in a sermon she preached July 18.

“Approximately two weeks ago, Bishop Mathes sent a letter to all clergy in the Diocese saying he will permit the blessing of same-gender relationships in churches in this Diocese, under certain conditions,” Thomas said in her sermon.

More here-

http://www.livingchurch.org/news/news-updates/2010/7/20/san-diego-to-allow-same-sex-blessings

As thousands flee murder, rape and destruction of their homes, DRC Anglican pleads for more prayer


From ACNS-

Thousands of people have been displaced and are pouring into towns in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo as an upsurge in violence in the Lubero and Beni territories takes its toll, writes Baliesima Kadukima Albert, Coordinator of Health and HIV/AIDS programmes for the Anglican Church of the Province of Congo.

The political situation and security in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo is exponentially deteriorating as we approach the elections due in 2011. In Lubero and Beni territories, rebels from Uganda (NALU - National Army for the liberation of Uganda) and those from Rwanda (FDLR - Front pour la liberation du Rwanda ) have increased their atrocities on the civilians. More Congolese rebel groups are coming up and causing problems to the population as well as the NALU and FDLR rebels.

In May 2010, Mai-Mai militia attacked a military training position in Beni killing civilians and burning hundreds of houses. Early in July, NALU rebels attacked the position of the Congolese national army in Mutwanga (around 30 km from Beni towards the border with Uganda) and killed eight civilians and injured many more others. Since 11 July fighting has been reported in Isale, Eringeti, between NALU and the national Army, which has led to the killing of more than 30 people, the rape of girls and women, and the displacement of more than 25,000 people lacking food and any other assistance. These internally displaced persons (IDPs) are lacking food and any other items for basic needs. They sleep in schools and churches, and so far churches have been providing little food but not enough to handle such number of IDPs.

More here-

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/digest/index.cfm/2010/7/20/As-thousands-flee-murder-rape-and-destruction-of-their-homes-DRC-Anglican-pleads-for-more-prayer

Churches ask for rehearing in property case


From Virginia-

Nine Anglican congregations in Loudoun and Fairfax counties asked the Virginia Supreme Court July 10 to reconsider part of a ruling from a month before that remanded a church property case back to a lower court.

The dispute centers around whether the nine congregations may keep the properties upon which their churches were built after breaking away from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia to join the Anglican District of Virginia in 2006. The Loudoun church involved is Church of Our Saviour at Oatlands.

In 2008, the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruled in favor of the breakaway churches.

The diocese appealed that decision and, on June 10, the Supreme Court overturned the Fairfax County Circuit Court’s decision and turned the case back over to that court to reconsider its ruling.

Now the congregations claim that the Supreme Court did not take certain information about the Division Statute into consideration when making its decision.

The Supreme Court is not obligated to rehear the case, and there is no word yet on whether it will.

More here-

http://www.loudountimes.com/index.php/news/article/churches_ask_for_rehearing_in_property_case578/

$400K donated for Episcopal gay liturgies

From NCR

A Michigan-based gay rights foundation has given more than $400,000 to a California seminary to help craft formal liturgies for the Episcopal Church to bless gay and lesbian relationships.

The Episcopal Church still officially considers marriage between a man and a woman, reflected in the marriage rite of its Book of Common Prayer. Many dioceses, however, unofficially allow priests to bless same-sex relationships and even marriages.

Because the church puts a high value on scripted liturgies, many same-sex couples want their own marriage/blessing rite since many bishops are reluctant to use the traditional husband-wife marriage liturgy for same-sex unions.

The church's 2009 General Convention gave the green light to collecting “theological and liturgical resources” that would form the basis of an official same-sex rite that could be added to the list of approved ceremonies.

Many observers expect the church, when it gathers again in 2012, to approve rites for same-sex unions, or at least give official approval to start the process, which can take several years.
The $404,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation to the Church Divinity School of the Pacific will help facilitate the process; the church's official Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has only $25,000 designated for the project.

More here-

http://ncronline.org/news/foundation-donates-400k-episcopal-gay-liturgies

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Editors Note




Still no internet at the church. Hopefully back up this afternoon.

Christian churchgoers in Uganda issued identity cards


From "The Underground"

Christian churchgoers in Uganda will be issued identity cards even as overnight prayer meetings are being suspended in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in a restaurant and a rugby club where people had gathered to watch the World Cup finals.

For the safety of churchgoers, identification cards will be issued for all church members, and every church will have its own checkpoint.

The Uganda National Fellowship of Born-again Churches has also put on hold all overnight prayer meetings and crusades nationwide, The Monitor said.

In a security meeting set by the Kampala City Council, UNFBAC vice chairman David Kiganda said, “No stranger will be allowed to attend any prayer sessions,” The Monitor said.
Kiganda said approved churches must also install soundproof facilities and can only operate until midnight. Mayor Nasser Sebaggala said the changes are intended to protect churches from possible terrorist attacks, The Monitor said.

Anglican Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi denounced the July 11 terrorist bombings, but also urged the people to resist vengeance and suspicion.

He noted that Christians (84 percent) and Muslims (12 percent) had always lived peacefully together in Uganda adding, “Peaceful society is the right of every one regardless of their age, race, gender or religious inclination,” Ekklesia said.

More here-

http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2010/07/christian-churchgoers-in-uganda-issued-identity-cards-13033

War museum buys medals of WWI chaplain


From Canada-

The Canadian War Museum has bought the medals of Canon Frederick G. Scott, a First World War chaplain and poet, for $28,000.

Jeffrey Hoare Auctions Inc., an auction house that specializes in military memorabilia, sold a set of 10 medals belonging to the war hero last Friday in St. Catharines, Ont.

Among the medals are the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George and the Distinguished Service Order.

Lt.-Col. Scott was senior chaplain with the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, but he could not be kept safely in the rear while men were in the trenches. Instead he insisted on being in the thick of the action at Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Arras.

The Anglican priest was mentioned four times in dispatches, according to the Ottawa-based war museum. He was wounded in 1918 and sent to England to recover. He died in 1944 at age 83.


Read more:

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2010/07/19/canon-scott-poet.html#ixzz0uDzIZKoF

Pope preparing speeches on Cardinal Newman for UK trip


From Catholic News-

While the Holy Father spends July in the serenity of the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo, he is dedicating time to penning a number of important documents. Among the pieces on his to-do list are the speeches to be given in the U.K. this September.

While a variety of news reports have speculated on the activity of the Pope during his summer retreat to the hilltop palace at Castel Gandolfo, a piece by the Vatican specialist Paolo Rodari in Sunday's edition of the Italian paper Il Foglio gives an overview of the Holy Father's writing aspirations during his "time off."

Rodari described the three major works at the Pope's fingertips as: not an entire book as had previously been reported in the Italian press, but an "appendix" to his Jesus of Nazareth books, the basic framework of his fourth encyclical and his addresses for the late-summer trip to Scotland and England.

According to Rodari, the brief addition to the Jesus of Nazareth series will cover the infancy of Jesus as recounted in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and the encyclical will present his perspective on "faith," a logical choice after the first three, which focused on social issues, charity and hope.

More here-

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-preparing-speeches-on-cardinal-newman-for-uk-trip/

Archbishop to get Freedom of Swansea


From News Wales-

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to receive the highest honour his home city of Swansea can bestow, the Freedom of the City.

Dr Rowan Williams will be following in the footsteps of people such as former US President Jimmy Carter, footballer John Charles and military organisations including HMS Scott and The Royal Welsh Regiment (Royal Welch Fusiliers) when he receives the award at a special ceremony later this month.

Swansea Council agreed earlier this year to bestow the Freedom of the City to Dr Williams, who has been leader of the Anglican Communion since 2003.

The Council said Dr Williams has a long association with Swansea and remains a great supporter of the area.

He is due to accept the honour at a ceremonial Full Council in the city's Guildhall on July 31, which will be followed by a celebratory Service at St Mary's Church in the city afterwards.

The Lord Mayor of Swansea, Cllr Richard Lewis, said the Freedom Ceremony was Swansea's way of recognising one of its most famous sons.

He said: "Dr Williams is a true son of Swansea and he's always maintained his links with the city over the years. He was educated at Dynefor School in the city before going on to Cambridge.

"Dr Williams is the first Welshman to hold the post of Archbishop of Canterbury and he is now one of the best-known clergymen in the world."


More here-

http://www.newswales.co.uk/?section=Community&F=1&id=19527

2011: Anglican Bishop justifies why Jonathan should contest


From Nigeria-

The Bishop of the Diocese of Kubwa (Anglican Communion), t he Right Reverend Duke Akamisoko, has explained why President Goodluck Jonathan should contest the 2011 poll, even as he advocated zoning policy in the Nigerian political equation.

However, the cleric's notion of zoning is different from the present North/South rotational arrangement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), noting that the Presidency should be rotated among the six geo-political zones in the country.

Akamisoko, who spoke at a press briefing on the second session of the first synod of the Diocese of Kubwa in Abuja, advised President Jonathan to take the slot offered by this arrangement without delay.

He said: “Zoning is the best political option for Nigeria, but not on the erroneous principle of North/South divide. I see zoning from a different light. Against the current clamour for zoning to be based on the current North/South, Christian/Muslim arrangement, zoning should be practised on the line of the present six geo-political zones.”

More here-

http://www.tribune.com.ng/index.php/news/8483-2011-anglican-bishop-justifies-why-jonathan-should-contest

KANSAS: Newest congregation moves into new Spring Hill home; membership triples

From ELO-

The newest congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas has moved into a new home in the town of Spring Hill, and that move already has helped membership more than triple, from nine to 29 active congregants.
St. Clare's Episcopal Church welcomed the public for worship on Pentecost, May 23, to its new location in the town's historic downtown area. It is leasing space on Sundays in a recently renovated building.

Before the move, worshippers had met in the living room of the congregation's vicar, the Rev. Philip Hubbard, and his family in Overland Park, several miles north. Hubbard was hired by the diocese in 2008 to start a new congregation in Johnson County, part of the greater Kansas City area and the largest population center in the diocese. The county is home to five other Episcopal churches.

The decision to give St. Clare's a permanent home in Spring Hill, a town of 6,500 that straddles the Johnson and Miami county line, came earlier this year, based on its potential for growth in the area. The city has grown 40 percent in the past decade, and it's close to a cluster of larger-sized cities, all without an Episcopal church.

Hubbard said about half of the 39 people at the Pentecost service were attending St. Clare's for the first time.

Patti Stites and her husband, Art Canright, had met Hubbard at the local Farmer's Market and, struck by his enthusiasm, decided to visit that day. They'd never been to an Episcopal church for worship before, but Canright called it "fun" and Stites said Hubbard's conversation-style sermon was "very enjoyable."

Susan and Don Traub met Hubbard at the Farmer's Market just the day before and as longtime Episcopalians were delighted to learn they could attend an Episcopal church without leaving Spring Hill. Former members of St. John's in Abilene, on the western edge of the diocese, the couple had been driving to Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, for church.

More here-

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/81803_123560_ENG_HTM.htm

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cardinal Newman was much more than a 'reluctant saint'


From The London Telegraph-

Announcing the details of the Pope's forthcoming visit to Britain a couple of weeks ago, the BBC said that Benedict XVI would be beatifying "a 19th-century cardinal". The description was accurate, but misleading, rather like referring to Alfred Tennyson as "a 19th-century peer". The man in question was never a bishop and only became a Cardinal in his late seventies. His interest lies elsewhere.

But one can see the BBC's difficulty. How could one quickly describe John Henry Newman? The most important Catholic convert in the history of the English-speaking world? The best Romantic writer of the Victorian age? The most influential spiritual leader in England since John Wesley? All these, perhaps, and more. In the subtitle of this book, John Cornwell calls Newman "the reluctant saint", which is not a terribly useful epithet, since no one who was not reluctant could possibly qualify for sainthood.

There is a bit of an "agenda" behind this book, I suspect. Cornwell is clearly on the reforming wing of the Catholic Church, and he wishes to enlist Newman as a prophet of that cause. Newman's belief in the primacy of conscience, says Cornwell, can be used to uphold attacks on Vatican teaching on contraception. His liberal idea of a university is taken to imply that he might have favoured student protest against the Vietnam war.

More here-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7897805/Cardinal-Newman-was-much-more-than-a-reluctant-saint.html

Anglican Primate Wants State of Emergency in South-East


From All Africa-

The Primate of All Nigeria in Anglican Community, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has called on the Federal Government to recognise that the insecurity in South East is beyond the capacity of the state government by declaring state of emergency.

Rev. Okoh gave the indication yesterday while addressing newsmen on the state of the nation at the Episcopal house, Abuja. He enjoined church leaders and communities to put up proposals for the resolution of insecurity in South East adding that the self inflicted wound will take Nigerians ten solid years to recover from the shock.

The clergy frowned at the apparent breakdown of law and order in Aba as criminals virtually shut down social and economic activities in the area through violence, brigandage and kidnapping in quest for money. He emphasized that after forty years of civil war, Nigerians are yet to tow the path of good leadership while corruption and constant crisis have ruined the country.

"We are baffled that forty years after the horrors of the civil war, which we are yet to recover from, we have set out another war against ourselves. "If the wave of wanton destruction in Aba is not eradicated, the communities will be completely ruined. There are no good roads, markets are in the decline and banks are forced to suspend operations due to incessant robberies.

Rev. Okoh gave the indication yesterday while addressing newsmen on the state of the nation at the Episcopal house, Abuja. He enjoined church leaders and communities to put up proposals for the resolution of insecurity in South East adding that the self inflicted wound will take Nigerians ten solid years to recover from the shock.

The clergy frowned at the apparent breakdown of law and order in Aba as criminals virtually shut down social and economic activities in the area through violence, brigandage and kidnapping in quest for money. He emphasized that after forty years of civil war, Nigerians are yet to tow the path of good leadership while corruption and constant crisis have ruined the country.

"We are baffled that forty years after the horrors of the civil war, which we are yet to recover from, we have set out another war against ourselves. "If the wave of wanton destruction in Aba is not eradicated, the communities will be completely ruined. There are no good roads, markets are in the decline and banks are forced to suspend operations due to incessant robberies.

More here-

http://allafrica.com/stories/201007190454.html

Will Gender and Sexuality Rend The Anglican Communion?


From Religious Dispatches

RD’s Joanna Brooks poses a question regarding the Church of England’s decision to consecrate women bishops: Will diverging perspectives on gender and sexuality determine the shape of the 21st-century Christian world?

The Revealer offers these additional questions on the debate:

It’s a question that only begs more: Does sweeping change cause schism or does incremental change cause it as well? Why would the divide last the next 90 years? How would a shift of Anglican-Catholics to Vatican loyalty change the Catholic Church? The Anglican Church? What will all this church resistance to cultural change mean for equality in the future?

As I have reported on RD previously, the media tends to greatly exaggerate the death of the Anglican Communion. In this instance, they made the mistake of assuming that UK Anglicans function like their US counterparts. A quick romp through church history will reveal that US Episcopal pioneers have a long history of rebelling against authority, a trait not shared by their UK bretheren.

More here-

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/danielschultz/2992/will_gender_and_sexuality_rend_the_anglican_communion/

Editor's Note


Editor's note- Thunderstorms knocked out the internet at the church and it is not scheduled to be back until late this afternoon.

Trinity congregation ‘where we never expected to be’ with leader’s sudden suspension


From Upper South Carolina-

There were prayers for the Very Rev. Philip C. Linder and his family Sunday and a call for members of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral “to seek out God in prayer” as the congregation gathered for the first time since the extraordinary suspension last week of its longtime leader.
“The events of this past week have brought us to a place where we never expected to be,” the Rev. Charles M. Davis Jr., who was named interim dean, told the packed congregation gathered in Averyt Hall for the 10 a.m. service.

Linder, 50, was suspended Wednesday as dean of the downtown cathedral by Bishop W. Andrew Waldo, the newly consecrated leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, following a move by the vestry, the church’s governing body, to sever its 11-year relationship with Linder.

Waldo, who was asked by the vestry to mediate the conflict, took the unusual step of suspending the dean after Linder apparently violated a pastoral directive not to speak to staffers or members about the leadership schism.

“I ache for Philip, and I ache for you,” Davis told the hushed congregation. “I know that this time is not easy, but I call on you to seek out God in prayer.” He prayed for the bishop and for the Linder family and told the congregation, “I am here for you.”

In place of the usual sermon, Davis read the bishop’s letter that was posted Friday on the church’s website. In that letter, Waldo, who was consecrated bishop of the diocese May 22, acknowledged the shock and concern generated by his action. But he laid the responsibility for the suspension on Linder, who Waldo said continued to contact Trinity members either himself, or through his wife, Ellen, as the conflict simmered.

Read more:

http://www.thestate.com/2010/07/19/1382311/trinity-congregation-where-we.html#ixzz0u7yYv4Eu

Churches keeping the faith a year into their divide


From Modesto-

It's been a year since more than 90 percent of St. Paul's congregation walked away from its $2.3 million property in northeast Modesto to begin Wellspring Anglican Church downtown. The move forestalled a lawsuit by Episcopal Bishop Jerry Lamb to claim the property in the ongoing national dispute between the theologically liberal Episcopal Church and the conservative Anglicans.

Members and leaders of each congregation said they are happy -- Wellspring with its stable congregation and ministries, despite not owning a physical structure, and the small but slowly growing congregation at St. Paul's.

Recent visits to both churches found the congregations using the identical liturgy, from prayers to reponses, and even the same order of worship.

The differences are in the numbers -- about 30 adults attended the main service at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, while nearly five times that number gathered at Wellsping -- and in the Scriptural passages and sermons.

The Episcopal Church has added more biblical passages about women to its readings, and on June 13 at St. Paul's, that included an excerpt from

I Kings 21 that detailed the ruthlessness of Jezebel and her God-forsaking husband, Israel's King Ahab, as well as a passage from Luke 7 about a woman who annointed Jesus' feet with her tears and expensive ointment. A third passage was from Galatians.

Read more:

http://www.modbee.com/2010/07/18/1256943/churches-keeping-the-faith-a-year.html#ixzz0u7qjZhuU

National debate prompts breakup at flagship Episcopal church


From San Antonio-

In its storied 99-year history, Christ Episcopal Church has fashioned itself into a pillar of orthodox beliefs, Anglican heritage and charismatic fervor for spreading Christian salvation worldwide.
But in recent years, a gut-wrenching question has tested the bonds of this spiritual family.

Should it leave its parent organization, the Episcopal Church, for making unwelcome liberal changes by accepting openly gay and lesbian clergy and modernizing time-honored theology?

One group had enough.

They walked away from the 2,400-member parish in Monte Vista last month to forge a new one — free of potential intrusion from national leadership but one that will meet, at least for a while, in less ideal facilities.

A larger group remains in the parish, and while equally disturbed about the direction of the national church, it is resolved to carry on the parish legacy despite the shifting winds.

The unraveling began in earnest in May when the parish rector, the Rev. Chuck Collins, announced plans to retire for a future outside the Episcopal priesthood. Most of the lay governing body resigned the next month to organize the new church, including architect Rick Archer, a 22-year member and former junior warden.

More here-

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/national_debate_prompts_breakup_at_flagship_episcopal_church_98722674.html

Sunday, July 18, 2010

From One Benefactor, Diverse Seeds in Theology


From The New York Times-

At the end of “Hannah’s Child,” the gossipy yet very moving new memoir by the theologian Stanley Hauerwas, the author thanks one Alonzo McDonald for financing the sabbatical that made the book possible.

Mr. Hauerwas, the Duke professor whom Time magazine in 2001 called “America’s best theologian,” is a pacifist and an anti-capitalist, and he has what might be called the comprehensive pro-life position, against abortion, war and the death penalty. He also believes that patriotism is a form of idolatry. Yet he calls his angel “a former Marine,” “President Carter’s chief of staff,” and “a capitalist” — all meant as terms of suspicion.

For Mr. Hauerwas’s adoring fans — and his equally numerous critics — this pairing of donor and recipient will at first seem quite odd. But it becomes more understandable when one learns a bit more about the rich, generous, religious and determined Mr. McDonald.

Mr. McDonald is by no means an ecumenical seeker. He helped found the Trinity Forum, an evangelical leadership institute, and he has given money to the Fellowship, also known as the Family, the secretive Christian association. His efforts to prescribe how his money got spent at Harvard led one dean to insist that the terms of the gift be rewritten. But his donations to Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago, Duke, Emory, Oxford and Cambridge support a small group of scholars with widely diverging views, men and women united only in their brilliance as students of Christianity.

More here-

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/17/us/17beliefs.html?src=me

Columbia Church Services Go On Without Reverend


From Columbia SC-

Church services went on today as scheduled at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia without their leader the Very Reverend Dr. Phillip Linder.

The historic cathedral is across from the State House and several South Carolina Governors are buried there.

Our calls to the Bishop were not returned but he did post this message on the church's website.

Dear People of Trinity Cathedral,

I know that today you find yourselves in a state of shock over the suspension from ministry this week of your Dean, Philip Linder. I, too, am deeply saddened and acutely aware of the pain many of you feel in response to this news.

Those of you who are puzzled or angered by my decision to suspend the Dean are asking many questions, some of which can only be answered with replies we are unable to give you for privacy reasons. What must firmly be said, however, is that your wardens and chancellor came to me with a call for a special vestry meeting, signed by themselves and 16 vestry members, to consider the dissolution of the pastoral relationship between the Cathedral and Philip Linder. That the level of support was so high indicated to me that there was an acutely strained relationship between the Dean and his lay leadership.

More here-

http://www.wltx.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=90639&catid=2

Land disputes still raging on


From Modesto--

What's happened since the San Joaquin Diocese, under the leadership of Bishop John-David Schofield, became the first diocese in the country to leave the Episcopal Church in December 2007?

Four dioceses and more than 600 individual congregations in the United States have left the church over the interpretation of Scripture, including whether Jesus is the only way to salvation and the ordination of gay clergy.

The Episcopal Church has filed lawsuits against all parishes that left, claiming that the properties were set up as Episcopal and therefore belong to that denomination. The departing parishes and dioceses say they are still part of the international church -- the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is a part -- and, as such, should be able to retain their property.

The conflict has escalated internationally.

In May, the Episcopal Church consecrated its second openly homosexual bishop, leading Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in England to say that the Episcopalians are out of step with most of the Anglican Communion and would lose their voting rights on ecumenical committees and in doctrinal discussions.


Read more:

http://www.modbee.com/2010/07/18/1256945/land-disputes-still-raging-on.html#ixzz0u3G8EEUe